Non-availability of ventilator costs an older woman her life in a village near Pune, District Collector warns of strict action

Naval Kishore
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Mehab Qureshi

Pune, July 8, 2020: A 62-year-old COVID-19 patient died on Monday (July 6) due to the non-availability of beds in hospitals in Pune City. She was initially asked by the administration to stay at her house at Gujar-Nimbalkarwadi, Haveli taluka, on the outskirts of the city as there were no vacant beds available.

However, she was admitted to a hospital in her neighborhood where she gasped for breath and later passed away due to the non-availability of a ventilator. This incident shook the administration, and the villagers have requested an inquiry.

District health officer Dr Bhagwan Pawar immediately responded by ensuring an inquiry into the matter, and stated that negligence would not be tolerated.

When District Collector Naval Kishore Ram learned about this matter, he promptly held a face-to-face meeting with the concerned officers, employees and villagers. He has instructed concerned officials to submit a report on the incident in the next seven days, and said that he would review it. He further warned to take stern action against the officers and employees who were negligent in the work allotted to them. He also instructed the administration to work in ‘mission mode’ so that the contagion wouldn’t spread further.

He directed the Gram Panchayat Office to raise awareness about the novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19), submit daily reports on COVID-19  infected patients, and informed them about the use of pulse oximeters and providing home quarantine facilities.

“Mobile ambulances should be deployed in the village in the morning and evening to take the critically ill to the hospital on time,” said Ram. While pointing to the concerned authorities, he warned, “There shouldn’t be any complaints from the villagers about the treatment of COVID-19 patients.”

Prant Adhikari Sachin Barawakar, Tehsildar Sunil Koli, Group Development Officer Prashant Shirke, Sarpanch Vyankoji Khopde, Taluka Health Officer Dr Sachin Kharat, Medical Officer Gyandeep Rajge, Health Assistant Shailesh Chavan, Gramsevak Vishal Nikam, Talathi Vikas Phuke, Gram Panchayat members and villagers were present at the meeting with the District Collector.